Vincent Viola (left) and
Larry Spiewak of
Chai Lifeline presidium
Honorary Jews Help Chai
Care for Sick Children
Story and Photo by Tim Boxer
INCENT VIOLA grew up in Hasidic Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, where he was “an authentic Shabbos goy” and made it to Wall Street where he presides over the New York Mercantile Exchange.
About 1300 guests packed the New York Marriott Marquis ballroom to honor Viola at Chai Lifeline’s 16th annual dinner.
Viola said his employees raised $700,000 of the dinner’s total of $2 million for the organization, which provides vital support services for Jewish children with life-threatening disease.
Last year former New York Congressman Jack Kemp wore a yarmulke with an Israeli flag. This time, when he introduced Viola, he had a yarmulke with the American flag.
“I want you to know I’m not just an honorary Jew,” Kemp said, “I’m also a Christian Zionist.”
Also honored at the dinner were Howard and Mina Millendorf, Laurence and Daniela Schreiber, Moshe and Chani Turk, and Dr. Stuart Ditchek.
Rabbi Simcha Scholar, executive vice president, said he got a call from a supporter who told him, “I got a baby girl and I want to name her Chai Lifeline.”
“It could be worse,” Scholar observed. “They could name her New York Knicks.”